The mobile or game console is your all-in-one access tool to the FIFA World Cup. As the tournament opens, we bring you news of some innovative solutions
Bangalore, June 12, 2014: As Brazil hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup, broadband access in the largest South American country is all set to go through an acid test. According to the Broadband Forum, a non-profit industry organization dedicated to engineering smarter and faster broadband networks, the world cup will put pressure on Brazil’s broadband infrastructure across all technologies dealing with fixed and mobile solutions.
According to Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum, when millions of football fans from all over the world descend on brazil, armed with their mobile phones, smart TVs, PCs and tablets, the challenge of meeting bandwidth demand in terms of sheer capacity is something that is rarely witnessed by countries or enterprises. However, localized service providers, vendors and solution providers can make hay if they are sufficiently fast in scaling up networks in time and during the world’s largest sporting spectacle. Of course, following global standards and compliance guidelines is the key to managing such a heavy spike in broadband usage.
So what exactly are football fans using technology and social media for? The answer lies in the ever-bulging basket of mobile applications, flash games, strategy-based interactive websites, and many more. Here’s a list of handpicked apps and products across platforms that are set to lure you into feeling the football carnival spirit:
Extensia’s schedule application
The Pune-based mobile app developer has taken what could be the most mundane of things related to a sporting event, and put it on a mobile platform – the World Cup schedule. With the FIFA Football Schedule Brazil 2014 app, fans can keep track of venues, dates and times of all World Cup matches. They can also see how their favorite teams are faring, in terms of their scores and overall standing. Available for iPhone and Android users, the app is a good starting point to begin your World Cup app exploration exercise.
Google’s Street View
Those of us who are unable to witness the spectacle in person have a near-real experience available to us. Few days back, Google announced the addition of “Street View” imagery of soccer stadiums in Brazil. All the 12 stadiums used for the World Cup have been added to Google Maps, as well as a number of local websites in Brazil. Google Maps offers a tour of the stadiums to give remote fans a feel for what it's like to be there. Users can explore the historic Estadio Mineirao and redesigned Estadio Nacional de Brasilia, inside out. Additionally, Google has also added ground-level imagery of other Latin American countries, including Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
All round X-Box experience
Microsoft X-Box has launched a new hub for its gaming fans, called Destination Brazil. Destination Brazil will be led by an app called Brazil Now that augments the experience of watching World Cup games on TV. Additionally, Brazil Now is designed to interface with the act of watching cable TV on the console through its HDMI pass-through functionality. With the Xbox One's Snap feature, Brazil Now can be made to appear alongside the live TV experience, providing real-time statistics and photos while you're watching a match. You can customize the app to your country of choice to get information about the team's schedule, roster and more.
BlackBerry lets its guard down
Even the more serious ‘enterprise mobility’ provider BlackBerry is offering not-so-serious apps for the season. With a photo editor app called Hooligans, football fans can shoot pictures and merge them with the flags of world cup 2014 participants. Depending on how your favourite team performs in the tournament, you easily change the flags and add filter effects. The app also allows you to share your photo directly with your friends through social media and BBM.
However, in the midst of all these amazing tech tools for you to play with, there are a few baddies who are out to make a quick buck. eScan, one of the leading Anti-Virus and Content Security Solution providers, has issued a warning to football fans about fake gaming applications which are flooding in Google Play store. For instance, an app called 'Corner Kick World Cup 2014', which is less than 1 MB in size, shows a series of advertisements and provides no game to play. It displays nothing but just a white screen. There are many other mobile gaming apps that request for data completely irrelevant to the app's functioning. However, this data then helps the hackers to steal the victim's banking credentials, contacts, location, contents in storage device, etc. Google has swiftly initiated its 'Bouncer' service to help police the Google Play Store, and this has ultimately cut down the number of fake, malicious apps. But no harm in exercising your own policing judgment before you download that app on to your smartfone.
Finally for those who will take no substitutes, here is a link to the official FIFA mobile app.